Grieving firefighter guarding body of fallen HFD comrade becomes victim of theft

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by MALINI BASU

KHOU

Posted on June 6, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Updated Thursday, Jun 6 at 11:55 AM

SUGAR LAND — A Sugar Land police officer and his fellow colleagues chipped in to help a grieving firefighter whose car was broken into.

What made the offense sink to a new low was the victim was guarding the body of one of his fallen comrades.

“It was a burglary of a motor vehicle call,” said Matthew Shockey, a Sugar Land police officer.

Shockey thought he was going to an ordinary call when he was dispatched to the Settegast-Kopf Funeral Home on 15015 Southwest Freeway early Tuesday. But, it wasn’t.

“I got there and it was a firefighter, he was in full dress uniform, if you will,” Shockey said.

The off-duty firefighter was volunteering his time guarding the body of one of Houston’s fallen heroes, 24-year-old Anne Sullivan. That’s when someone broke into his car.

“He has several duffle bags taken, along with a computer bag,” Shockey said.

An iPad mini, a laptop and tools were also stolen.

“He had it in the car, because he was leaving the funeral home and going straight from there to where he works,” the officer said.

Shockey knew the firefighter was already distraught and the break-in was just too much for him.

“If that wasn’t enough, they just lost four firefighters, so they’re already grieving and it’s a somber time,” the officer said.

He wanted to cheer up the firefighter.

“I don’t ever use Facebook, but there are some contacts on Facebook and social media has its places,” he said.

Shockey decided to raise money on PayPal so he could replace what was taken.

“I felt real bad for him and so at that point, I kind of thought ‘let’s set up a donation for him, do it anonymously,’” the officer said.

But, he didn’t raise enough money. So, Shockey went into his own pocket and paid to replace the items himself.

“We dropped it off last night, I tried to be anonymous. It was people from all agencies that donated,” Shockey said.

Shockey raised close to a thousand dollars so far. He’s trying to raise $1,300, which is the money he spent. The rest of the money donated will go to the 100 Club. The officer wants people to know that the story isn’t about him. It’s about the crook who was cold during a time of mourning. No suspect has been arrested.

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